A reader writes:
Guevara basically did advocate genocide – a nuclear one:
During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 Che was more bullish even than Castro or Khrushchev, seemingly unconcerned that the whole world was holding its breath over the outcome. 'The worst thing I heard about him,' says Hitchens, 'is that he was in favour of launching the missiles. That, for me, is a contradiction too far. You can't be a great revolutionary who wants to free the world and be a guy who wants to push the button. You can only be one or the other.'
The best antidote to excessive idolization of Che Guevara is Jon Lee Anderson's biography of the man. It's balanced, thorough and fascinating, and it shows what went wrong with Che. I highly recommend it.
A reader wrote, "But of all of the "revolutionaries" in history, he was a guy who did try to put a positive and a decent foot forward in achieving what he believed would be good for his people." I wonder if your reader is even aware that Che Guevara did little for his people. He was from Argentina, and to my knowledge, he did not commit any noteworthy achievements in Argentina. Perhaps in Cuba, but the Cubans aren't his people, as Winston Churchill isn't one of the American people.
Another sends the below image and writes, "As is often the case, The Onion nails it - though this time in their store." Another reader:
First, you posted the *very best* picture and capture from "Look at this fucking hipster". I looked through the whole site once and remember that one as being the best.
Second, this is not really here nor there, but Greenpoint is toxic. There's a lot of industrial waste there, which is why it was cheap until recently. I have a friend whose father was an industrial plumber, and the family blames his death at 50 from cancer on work he did at Greenpoint. My friend is from Bay Ridge, and he's a no-BS Brooklyn
guy: "These hipsters think they're discovering new places to live, that they're pioneers. There's a *reason* no one lived there." Big swaths of Brooklyn are polluted, and people who live there because they want to be cool can be kind of dim (people go out on the Gowanus in kayaks, etc.)
Third, a guy like Che has to be viewed in the context of what right-wing locals did in Latin America, with very full participation from the CIA. Che was an ugly response to a lot of other ugly stuff that was going on there. If you look at Che from our perspective, he's a pretty awful guy. But I think that if you found yourself trapped in the Manichean universe that was Latin America during the days of the revolution, if you're forced to pick one side or the other, Che makes sense in a way he doesn't if you have more distance.
Finally, when you see a Che shirt in Brooklyn (and I'm not sure you really do, honestly), it probably means, "I hate my parents even though they send me the money to live here in Brooklyn, and believe me, that ain't cheap."
As someone who lived in Greenpoint for nearly a decade, your reader is completely ignoring the skinhead/neo-Nazi movement among the younger working class Polish of the area, which I always found far more troubling then the very rare "skinny Sarah Lawrence grad with the scraggly beard" wearing a CCCP t-shirt. Even a simple Google search of "greenpoint brooklyn polish Skinheads" will bring up mention of them in cafe reviews!